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These veterans have been married for 71 years. This is their love story.

Bernice and Eddie Graf have been in love for 71 years.

Their seven-decade romance began overseas in the army, where Eddie was a musician in an Army Show, and Bernice was a dancer in another.

They had only known each other a few months before marrying in England on New Year’s Day of 1946.

“We thought we’d start the year right,” she said of their new-years marriage. “It’s been the best years of my life ever since.”

Eddie and Bernice Graf on their wedding day in 1946

Bernice and Eddie Graf on their wedding day in 1946

They’ve come a long way since they were 20-somethings performing for troops in the army. Today, Eddie and Bernice (also known as “Bunny”) are 95-years-old, and both live together at Sunnybrook’s Veterans Centre.

“I’ve always loved him and I always will, right to the end”

– Bernice Graf, married to husband Eddie for 71 years

“I was never a girl to get married — never,” says Bernice, holding her husband’s hand in the Veterans Centre’s “quiet room.”

“But I thought: he’s worth it,” she says, smiling. “Yeah, he was worth it.”

It’s Eddie’s “brilliance” in creating musical arrangements that captured Berince’s heart.

“He didn’t ever write one that wasn’t suitable for dancing,” she says.

From then on, it was history.

Bernice and Eddie Graf hold hands in their room at Sunnybrook's Veterans Centre

Bernice and Eddie Graf hold hands in their room at Sunnybrook’s Veterans Centre

And what a history they’ve written. Seven kids, 10 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and to top it all off, Bernice and Eddie have never gotten into a single fight. Not once.

“We sort of agree on everything, which is wonderful,” says Bernice. “It’s hard to get somebody like that,” she says, humbly acknowledging how lucky she and Eddie are to have found one another.

But it’s not just how well they get along that’s led to the love Bernice and Eddie share. It’s the little things, too.

Like the letters Eddie would send Bernice when he travelled. “They were always full of love and warmth,” she recalls.

Bernice does have some advice for couples hoping to romance long-term like she and Eddie have: “Tolerance and acceptance.”

“Accepting you as you are is very important,” says Bernice. “I think we always did [accept each other] from the beginning,” she says.

A love expanding across seven decades may seem unbelievable — maybe even impossible — but Bernice and Eddie’s story proves it can happen.

“I’ve always loved him and I always will, right to the end,” says Bernice.

More photos of Eddie & Bernice

About the author


Jessica Lepore

Jessica is a Digital Communications Specialist at Sunnybrook.